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Discussion Starter #1
I have ridden 1500 miles on my 99 LT so far. The longest trip was 250 miles. I really like the comfort and smoothness, but I still feel intimidated by the size and weight particularly in tight spaces (parking lots etc). I haven't even attempted to get my wife on the bike yet although she is chomping at the bit to go for a ride with me.

Today I got my RT out for a run to have breakfast with my buddies. Didn't want the RT to feel neglected ;) . Keep in mind I haven't been on the RT since I got the LT. I was absolutely amazed at how "sprinty" the RT felt. It felt so much lighter and more maneuverable. I will say however, that I got the same pains in the posterior that I always got with it.

Guess I just need a lot more practice with the LT to build my confidence. Two main reasons I went for the LT were for my comfort and hopefully my wife would ride with me. :bmw:
 

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You are right she is a big Girl and tight spaces are a little awkward but she does like being man handled.

I've tried both the RT and GT I can see where they would be great for very short hops but I couldn't see being comfortable with long distances and to be honest I wouldn't chance doing two up with either of them too light and way to snappy for comfort. The LT is pretty tame compared to either of them.
 

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I have a 650cc Yamaha that feels like a moped after riding the LT. I think most of us have been/ still are/ will never stop being intimidated by the size of the LT.

You can work your way through this by practicing tight maneuvers in parking lots before loading up the Mama for a 2 up ride. I can distinctly remember when I couldn't do a U-Turn on a 2 lane road without backing up for a second stab. I can now COMFORTABLY execute a U Turn in significantly less space than a 2 lane road. The secret is to never look ahead of the bike but instead focus on the place where you want to end up. I no longer worry about having a passenger on board, tight maneuvers be damned.

Practice practice practice! Keep your head up!

Loren
 

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The best solution is to get out and ride the hell out of your bike. Two weeks after I bought my LT I took it on a 3000 mile ride, solo. Had a fantastic time. By the time I got back home I could make U-turns in the width of a two-lane road...barely. Turning at slow speed takes lots of practice, and sometimes I still forget to look where I want to go. But it's a challenge everyone on this site has faced and survived. I just returned from riding to Oregon for the Rally in Redmond (about 2000 miles round trip). Can't really beat the LT for comfort and convenience on a long ride...and the more I make long trips the more long trips I want to make. Enjoy and have fun. As for carrying a passenger, just do it. Unless the passenger significantly outweighs you, the bike handles two-up with no problems. Go for it. :dance: :dance:
 

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Ditto on the "look where you want to go". Where you look is where you WILL end up. She's big alright, but you do your part and she'll do hers. And let's be clear here, I'm not referring to your wife. :wave
 

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pendie said:
Ditto on the "look where you want to go". Where you look is where you WILL end up. She's big alright, but you do your part and she'll do hers. And let's be clear here, I'm not referring to your wife. :wave
That was funny! :histerica
 

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Discussion Starter #7
pendie said:
Ditto on the "look where you want to go". Where you look is where you WILL end up. She's big alright, but you do your part and she'll do hers. And let's be clear here, I'm not referring to your wife. :wave
Glad you qualified that Pendie :histerica . I won't tell her (wife) in any case.

I guess from the comments on" looking where you want to go", that means NEVER look at the ground :cool: Thanks for all the reassuring input, I will work on it. :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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To go along with all of the good advice, let me add $0.02

You should have discovered by now that the LT loves corners! In fact, it eagerly dives into any corner, ready to play. At higher speeds this fun, even if it is a bit hard on the center stand... :D

Be aware, though, that your mutual love of corners will turn to pure hate on your part if you let it dive in a slow-speed turn, since it will quickly encounter the ground!

Whether making a slow speed turn or a higher speed corner, the physicists will tell you that the force acting on the center of mass must act through the tires. At speed, gravity and centrifugal force combine to allow you to lean over without falling. At slow speed, only gravity is in play, and any lean will put more mass on one side of the tires. Too much lean and the entire mass will come to a rest on that same side. This is known as "I dropped the bike."

Braking this machine in a higher-speed corner, or a slow-speed turn, amplifies its desire to dive inward. While this is not good practice at higher speeds it is possible to keep the mass centered over the tires while leaned over and shave of a bit of speed., and ABS helps to prevent a wheel lockup that will really upset the apple cart. However, braking at slow speed will start a dive that puts the mass well to one side of the tires.

Again, at slow speed this bike really needs to be kept upright. That means it must remain vertical with its center of mass over the tires. You may need to "counterweight" or shift your weight to the outside of a corner to offset its desire to dive inside. You may need to apply a fairly large motions to the handlebars to keep bringing it back up upright if it wobbles a bit in a 'straight' line. Sometimes adding some rev's and power while keeping the clutch in its "friction zone" will help to push it back upright without adding much speed.

OK, you know not to use the brake(s) in a slow speed turn, but still, if you really, really must use them, do touch the levers very, very gently. I personally prefer to use one finger on the front lever, since my finger is more sensitive than my boot-clad foot and not much brake pressure is needed at slow speed,

Do find a vacant parking lot and practice. Begin by simply stopping in a straight line from progressively lower speeds and feel of how it handles as speed decreases.

Then, spend a bit of time riding slowly in a straight line. Work your speed down until you are riding as slowly as you can. Concentrate on balance. Keep the clutch in the "friction zone" by easing the lever in or out to keep the clutch not fully engaged or disengaged. Use the handlebars as needed to bring it back upright, and as needed add a bit of power to 'straighten it out.' You don't need to do this exercise for a long stretch, but do practice it long enough to feel how it reacts. You can always practice this at every intersection that has a stop, and especially in slow or stop-and-go traffic.

Then move to cornering and turning at progressively slower speeds. Notice how easily it wants to turn into a corner, and how it reacts when you move the handlebars and shift your weight. Then at slower speed, see how it wants to tip more than turn, and how it reacts as you shift your weight and move the handlebars to keep it upright!.

Go ahead, nobody's going to make fun of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jim,
That is all very good advice and certainly worth more than .02 cents. A dollar at least :p

Thanks again to all the input. :bmw:
 

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The LT and the RT are geared differently. The RT is much quicker off the line. Your wife is going to love the LT. The slow stuff will take getting used to but don't let it get in your way. I think you will find the LT a little lower than the RT.
Jim
 

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Guess I just need a lot more practice with the LT to build my confidence. Two main reasons I went for the LT were for my comfort and hopefully my wife would ride with me. :bmw:[/QUOTE]

I think those were my exact words. Twenty years ago, we camped a couple of times, but she's a Hilton girl, and also has two herniated disks. We occasionally go 25 to 50 miles out and back to a diner, or such.

I rode about 100 miles on the back of a Goldwing about 30 years ago, and the problem is generic: the pillion occupant doesn't get to move around on the saddle or stand up very much, like the pilot does. Also the back seat is fairly boring, but gets the full benefit of the traffic terrors with no means of influencing the outcome except by imploring the deity.

The LT is easy to ride and handle, once you are above 3 mph. I'd bet that 90 percent of LT drops occurred at stop signs/lights, or in the backyard/garage (that would be about 80 percent of all LTs). I'm 68 years long in the tooth, 5'7", and from what I've read here and elsewhere, height has nothing to do with dropping the LT. I've put 25,800 on my LT since new in August 2006, and so far... no, I won't say it - (knocking on wood :wave ).

P.S: Let me take this opportunity to tell you that if you run Metzlers, put about 3 - 4 psi more air in the tires than the book calls for (note the cold pressures on the tire walls). If you don't, the tires will cup as they approach 8-10K miles, and you'll get a slow speed wobble in tight turns, even with both hands on the controls. Front 39.6 psi cold, Rear 45.1 / 49.4 psi cold solo/two-up respectively
 
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